Home made Halloween fake bones. Cheap but sturdy fake bones
Halloween is second only to Christmas in the amount of decorations we display every year in America. People go to great lengths and expense to create the creepy scenes and displays that decorate their homes and yards. The truly intrepid may even convert a portion of their home into a make shift haunted house, for the sole purpose of striking terror into the neighborhood kids.
Whether you’re making a home haunt or just want some cool props for decorations, bones are a must have. But go to the local store to buy some fake bones and you’re in for a shock, and I don’t mean the good kind! They can be quite expensive and still look rather cheesy. There are more realistic looking fake bones, but they cost even more.
Making your own fake bones is not all that hard and you will be surprised at how realistic they can look with just a little effort. The instructions here are for a large undefined bone, but the process can be used for almost any kind of long bone.
To start, you will need some supplies:
Styrofoam tubes at least 2” diameter
Styrofoam balls at least 3” diameter
¼” PVC pipe
Small hand saw
Hot glue gun and glue
Sandpaper very fine grit
Acrylic craft paint, White
Step 1. Cut a piece of the Styrofoam tube to length. You can use your own arms or legs to get a feel for the size you need. We will be adding joints later so cut the foam tube about 4 inches shorter than you want the fake bone to be.
Step 2. Cut a piece of PVC pipe with your small saw to a length that is about 1 inch shorter than your foam tube. Next, place the PVC at one end of the tube and with a twisting motion, slowly and carefully push the PVC all the way through the length of the tube. This will give your fake bone rigidity and help to keep it from breaking.
Step 3. Using your box knife, begin carving the Styrofoam tube into a bone shape. Remember that real bones are tapered, being skinny at the middle and wider at the ends. The bone doesn’t have to be perfect and you are only creating a rough shape of the bone in this step.
Step 4. With a roughly shaped bone, use your fine grit sandpaper and smooth the edges of the fake bone. When finished, the bone should have no sharp edges or ridges. Be sure not to sand too much material away and expose the PVC pipe inside.
Step 5. Next, get two of your Styrofoam balls and your box knife. Now carve one side of each of the balls so as to give the appearance of a fat mushroom with a fat stubby stem. These will become the joints at the end of your fake bone. When they are cut, lightly sand them with the fine grit sandpaper.
Step 6. Now you will attach the joint pieces to the bone. Do this by placing a glob of hot glue onto one end of the bone and then place the foam ball, stem side down, onto the bone. Make sure you have enough glue to hold it together but not so much that it oozes out from between the sections. Repeat the process for the other end of the fake bone. When the glue is dry, sand these joints so they meet smoothly.
Step 7. Now you need to paint the fake bone. With your 1” brush, apply a coat of white acrylic paint to the bone. Make sure to cover it completely. Allow the paint to thoroughly dry and then apply a second coat of paint.
Step 8. Weathering your fake bone will give it a more realistic look. There are a number of ways to age the bone depending on the look your after. You could pour coffee on your bone and let it dry on to stain it. Rubbing it with ashes from the grill will give it a grayed look. You could even use acrylic antiquing that is painted on then wiped of to get an aged appearance. This is your chance to play around, so experiment with what looks good to you.
Step 9. Finally you need to seal the fake bone to protect it. Any standard acrylic finish sealer will work, though you should use one with a matte or other non-glossy finish. No one wants shiny bones. Spray the sealer over the entire bone and then allow it to dry completely. If this is going to be an inside decoration, 1 or 2 coats of sealer is sufficient. If this is going to be an outdoor decoration or prop, you should give the bone at least 3 coats of sealer.
About Ron Warner
I have never been satisfied with things as they are. Yes I suffer from the "Grass is Greener Syndrome". I have been a ditch digger and the GM of a mortgage company. I have worked as a fry cook, Branch Manager for a major Stock Brokerage firm, a roofer, a car salesman, an IT Network Admin, a landscaper, a radio DJ and the list goes on. 30 years of exposure to such a variety of professions and vocations has given me a wealth of knowledge and a unique insight of the world around us. My family and I have enjoyed the savings I have experienced by being able to do many things for myself rather than needing to hire someone else to do the job. True, some may refer to me as a job hopper. But how many computer geeks can roof their house? What does a car salesman know about investing? Know any Stock Brokers who can change a water heater? Yeah, I did not think so. Yes, Life has been good so far.